REVIEW: ROXS - DURAR
In this, his first effort in Arabic, young Saudi singer-songwriter Roxs creates a soulful record that showcases his more gentle, folksy side.
The prolific artist has been quite busy writing, recording and producing music for the past two years, building quite a following back online. But as most of the rest of his catalogue is in English, “Durar” takes him into uncharted territory.
But this shouldn’t be surprising, Roxs has been pushing himself to produce a wide variety of music that makes it challenging to pin him down to one genre or style, playing everything from folk to blues, soul and hip-hop.
The four-track EP features elements inspired by Arabic music – with lovely Oud and string sections – against a more straight-forward ballad rock melodies. And while the production is competent, it’s in the lyrics that Roxs shines.
Singing mostly in Fos’ha (Classic Arabic), the singer delivers intimate, beautiful lyrics that verge on poetry with standout tracks such as “Woqouf Ertijal” and title track “Durrar”, and with the “Qalat Elhusna” Roxs merges Arabic and Turkish with Western music in another slow, introspective ballad that laments lost love and wounded romance.
Roxs himself stated that the record is his attempt at paying homage to the beauty of the Arabic language, and fusing Fos’ha with rock and blues music.
Considering how he has been working, jumping between projects, styles and genres, this might simply be a stopgap, an experiment, for the Saudi artist, but one that would certainly be worth revisiting and exploring further.